People with protest signs

Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace Central Ohio Chapter

Take Action. From Amnesty International: Take Action for Human Rights. End Apartheid Against Palestinians by the Government of Israel. Take action: Send your letter directly to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett now

After four years of extensive research and documentation, Amnesty International (AI) issued a 280-page report on February 1 that concluded that Israel is an apartheid state and added to the growing documentation that Israel’s actions constitute a crime against humanity by human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem, both issued in 2021, and a United Nations (UN) report in 2017. The Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din published a legal opinion in 2020 that “the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank. The perpetrators are Israelis, and the victims are Palestinians.” Amnesty “analyzed Israel’s intent to create and maintain a system of oppression and domination over Palestinians and examined Israel’s its components: territorial fragmentation; segregation and control; dispossession of land and property; and denial of economical and social rights.” (1)

AI’s report added to the growing body of human rights organizations that have documented the systematic oppression, including forced transfers, administration detention and torture, unlawful killings, and denial of basic rights and freedoms. It states that “The essence of the system of oppression and domination over Palestinians was clearly crystallized in the 2018 nation state law, which enshrined the principle that the ‘State of Israel is the nation State of the Jewish people’ and that the right of self-determination is exclusive to the Jewish people.” (1)

Even before its release, an organized attack in media and by American Jewish organizations was called for by Israeli government officials, including Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, who condemn it as being anti-Semitic rather than giving a critique on the merits of the report itself. In doing so, they are attacking a human rights organization with decades of credibility and international human rights that generally protects all people. (2)

Jewish Voice for Peace welcomed the AI report, and many chapters across the country are putting ads in local newspapers with support for JVP national to counter the near total blocking of the report in the mainstream media. JVP Central Ohio is placing an ad that we hope will be on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch on February 28. JVP’s Heath Advisory Committee posted an “Urgent statement regarding Amnesty International and report of Israeli apartheid” fully endorsing this report on their blog. (3)  Rabbi Brant Rosen emphasized the importance of the AI report, stating that “as one of the most prominent and well-known human rights organizations in the world, Amnesty’s report makes it that much more acceptable to isolate Israel as an apartheid state. Israel and its supporters know full well that Amnesty’s use of a term such as this can move Israel more quickly down the road to international pariah status.” (4)

In January 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) issued a similar report, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid Palestine and the Israeli Occupation, Issue No. 1” with the same conclusions. Additionally, the authors rejected “the accusation of anti-Semitism in the strongest terms. First, the question of whether the State of Israel is constituted as an apartheid regime springs from the same body of international human rights law and principles that rejects anti-Semitism: that is, the prohibition of racial discrimination.” Noting that “no State is immune from the norms and rules enshrined in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which must be applied impartially. The prohibition of apartheid, which, as a crime against humanity, can admit no exceptions, flows from the Convention. Strengthening that body of international law can only benefit all groups that have historically endured discrimination, domination and persecution, including Jews.” (5)

Most importantly, among the many remedies suggested in the report, AI calls on governments such as the USA and members of the European Union (EU) to “immediately suspend the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer, including transit and transshipment to Israel of all weapons, munitions and other military and security equipment, including the provision of training and other military and security assistance” and to “institute and enforce a ban on products from Israeli settlements in your markets and regulate companies domiciled in your jurisdiction in a manner to prohibit companies’ operation in settlements or trade in settlements goods.” (1)

The United States is complicit with Israeli’s apartheid regime. As Don Bryant of Cleveland Peace Action stated in a letter to, “The United States has been overlooking Israel’s human rights violations and blocking U.N. condemnations of Israel’s crimes since the 1960s, to the detriment of our own national security. Congress continues to arm Israel with high-tech weaponry as part of an aid package costing U.S. taxpayers $3.8 billion annually, violating the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, which bars aid to human-rights violators.” (6)

1) Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians Cruel System Of Domination And Crime Against Humanity. Amnesty International, Israel's apartheid against Palestinians - Amnesty International. The full report can downloaded here: Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity - Amnesty International.

2) Anshel Pfeffer, Israel’s Hysterical Response to Amnesty’s ‘Apartheid’ Report, Haaretz, February 1, 2022.

3) Urgent statement regarding Amnesty International and report of Israeli apartheid, February 6. Urgent statement regarding Amnesty International and report of Israeli apartheid — Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (

4) Amnesty International’s Apartheid Report: Parsing the Jewish Communal Outrage. Shalom Rav. Amnesty International’s Apartheid Report: Parsing the Jewish Communal Outrage | Shalom Rav (

5) Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid Palestine and the Israeli Occupation, Issue No. 1. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), 2017. ESCWA 2017 (Richard Falk), Apartheid.pdf (

6) Don Bryant. The United States abets ‘apartheid’ system in Israel. Feb. 14, 2022.